Proving Fault in a Product Liability Case
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be eligible to seek compensation through a product liability claim. However, before taking the responsible party to court, it’s critical to understand how fault is determined in these cases. Below, our blog outlines several of the main legal theories on which a product liability claim can be based.
Liability in Defective Product Claims
Strict liability: While other personal injury cases can involve establishing negligence, strict liability claims do not require this step. Instead, as in the case with a defective product, a victim must only show that (1) the product was defective, (2) the product was used as intended, and (3) damages occurred as a direct result of the defect. This means that a defendant may not be able to argue that their standard of care or conduct resolves them of legal liability.
Negligence: While victims can file a claim under strict liability, depending on how and where an accident occurred, they may also have the option of arguing that the defendant acted negligently. To establish negligence, it must be shown that (1) the defendant owed the victim a duty or standard of care, (2) the defendant acted “negligently”, breaching that duty of care, (3) the negligent action was the direct cause of an accident, and (4) the victim suffered injuries as a result.
Breach of warranty: A products warranty can be thought of as a guarantee that an item will perform one or more specific functions at a set standard. A warranty can be either expressly stated or implied, such as through an advertising campaign. Here, if a person is injured while using a product as it was meant to be used or as covered under warranty, they may be able to file a liability claim.
Fraud: If it can be shown that a defendant knew of a product defect and intentionally misrepresented or concealed the danger, they may be guilty of fraud. For example, if a drug company knew about a dangerous medication but allowed the product to be sold and consumed without advertising the risk, victims may be able to claim intentional misrepresentation.
Which Option Is Right for My Case?
While there are multiple options available to victims in product liability claims, the majority of cases come in the form of strict liability. This can be because the burden of proof can be comparatively easier to satisfy. Additionally, arguing a case using methods such as breach of warranty may exclude the recovery of certain damages.
Furthermore, victims can only argue their case under a single theory of liability. This means that you cannot bring a case under both negligence and strict liability. The truth is that every case is different and if you have specific questions about your damages, it may be time to get a knowledgeable attorney involved.
Legal Help for Product Liability Cases
Whether your injury occurred due to a defect in a products manufacture, design, or advertisement, Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC can help you get the money you deserve. Our Lexington personal injury attorneys possess substantial experience dealing with defective product cases and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We proudly represent clients in 86 Counties throughout Kentucky from our Lexington and Winchester offices.
Call (859) 534-9327 or request a free consultation online and speak with an attorney about your legal options.